Cooking chicken breasts in the Instant Pot is an easy way to get dinner on the table fast.
Instant Pot Chicken breasts made with our cooking method can be served whole or shredded. You can also season them any way you like, so they pair well with any cuisine.
Cook these breasts in advance to make meal prep easier for the week.
Instant Pot Chicken Breasts Recipe
- 4 chicken breast halves - (about 6 ounces each)
- 1 ½ cup filtered water - this is the amount for an 8 quart Instant Pot, for a 6 quart, use 1 cup
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Mixing bowl
- Instant Pot
- Instant Pot Steamer Rack
- Season the fresh chicken breasts in a mixing bowl with the sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder and Italian Seasoning or the spices of your choice. Be sure to get the chicken breasts evenly coated on all sides.
- Add 1 cup water to the inner pot of the Instant Pot. Place Steamer Rack or basket in the Instant Pot.
- Add chicken breasts in a single layer to the Steamer Rack or Steamer Basket, making sure it's up out of the water.
- Close the lid, and turn the pressure valve to the sealing position. Set on High Pressure for 6 minutes. Allow for a complete natural pressure release before removing the lid, which should take about 7 minutes.
- Serve your juicy Instant Pot Chicken breasts with your favorite side dishes.
Nutrition Information Per Serving
Tips for Perfect Instant Pot Chicken Breasts
1. What if my chicken breasts are larger or smaller?
Cook time will depend on the size of the individual breasts. In this recipe, we used 6-ounce fresh chicken breast halves.
If you’re using larger chicken breasts, be sure to add a few minutes to the cooking time. For smaller chicken breasts, shorten the cook time by a couple minutes.
2. How to avoid tough chicken breasts?
Brine your breasts for 24 hours by putting them in the refrigerator in a covered bowl with 1/4 cup of sea salt dissolved in water. Before cooking the breasts, rinse them off under cold water then pat dry. This will make them taste amazing in the recipe as it will help tenderize them.
If brining your breasts doesn’t make them tender enough, you can always get a mallet out and beat your breasts until they’re tender. Sprinkling a small amount of salt over the breast while you’re beating them will help act as a meat tenderizer.
You also want to make sure you use a natural release… the quick release method will cause tough meat with any electric pressure cooker.
3. More seasoning ideas.
My bulk seasoning recipes are amazing. Try using 4 teaspoons of one of my favorite spice mixes instead of the blend in the recipe:
- Cajun Seasoning
- Italian Seasoning
- Paprika Chicken Seasoning
- Jamaican Jerk Seasoning
- Ranch Seasoning
- Taco Seasoning
- Onion Soup Mix
- Everything Bagel Seasoning
- Poultry Seasoning
4. What other cooking liquids add flavor?
You do need 1 full cup of water or liquid for a 6-quart Instant Pot, or 1 ½ cups water or liquid for an 8-quart Instant Pot. If you want to experiment with new flavors, try one of these cooking liquids in place of water for a more flavorful chicken breast.
- Chicken stock (get my chicken stock recipe)
- Pineapple juice
- Apple juice
- Half lemon juice, half water
5. Can you pressure cook frozen chicken breasts?
I prefer to use fresh or thawed chicken for consistent flavor and texture. While some people have no issues, I find frozen breasts come out tougher.
If you’re in a pinch, you can cook frozen breasts in an Instant Pot by doubling the cook time. The pot will take longer to come to pressure as well, so cooking from frozen takes longer than cooking from thawed.
6. What temperature should chicken be cooked to?
Chicken breasts should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165˚ F when checked with a meat thermometer.
7. How to make shredded chicken?
If you plan to shred your chicken, I recommend choosing one of the more flavorful liquids above instead of water.
When cooking is done, remove the steamer rack and shred the chicken breast in the liquid. It will soak up the moisture and the flavors to help keep it tender.
If there is too much liquid left in the pot after cooking, you may want to drain some out first before shredding.
8. How to store cooked chicken breast?
Leftover chicken should be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for no more than 3-4 days.
9. Best side dish ideas?
10. More Instant Pot chicken breast recipes?
Making chicken breasts in the Instant Pot is my favorite way to prepare them because it’s so versatile. Try some of these other great recipes:
- Instant Pot Chicken Burrito Bowls
- Instant Pot Chicken Fried Rice
- Instant Pot Jambalaya
- Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup
- Instant Pot Tuscan Chicken Pasta
- Instant Pot Chicken Marsala